Random Thoughts

By Jack Smith

while Driving in Waco

If I should come to your home or office, don’t let me near your computer. They pick up a bad vibe that makes them want to freeze, crash or just quit. It could be my anti-magnetic personality. There is a laundry list of errors I can cause without even trying. The CIA should hire me and send me to China or Russia to mess up their systems.

We all know what a laundry list is, as in, “He had a laundry list of crimes on his record.” But where did the term come from? Apparently, in the not so good old days people made a list of the items that they took to the laundry. I guess they didn’t trust the laundry folks to return their pink sweater, or they just had way too much time on their hands. Now we can take a picture of our laundry on our cellphones. A high-tech laundry list.

The State Fair of Texas is open. There is an annual competition to see who can come up with the strangest fried foods. Fletcher’s Corny Dog has avoided this competition in the past and stayed true to its roots (or to its stick). But this year they are introducing a vegetable corn dog. It may be a sign of the apocalypse. When last I heard, they hadn’t decided what vegetable to put on a stick and fry. Squash? Okra? Collard greens? Beets? Beats me. We’re even dumbing down the corny dog. We could boycott Fletcher’s and stick to it.

Where did the word “boycott” originate? I’m glad you asked. There was an Englishman named Charles Boycott. In 1880 he refused to lower rents in Ireland during a time of poor harvest and was ostracized by the community. The first boycott.

Proper names can easily become common words. They are called eponyms. Some are good or benign, like Einstein, sandwich, Jacuzzi or Fahrenheit. Others, like gerrymander, Judas, Jezebel or Scrooge, not so much. Some are a little draconian (as in Draco, a harsh Greek lawyer.) I think we will soon create an eponym giving new meaning to the word “trumped.” It will mean something like “conquered by bombast.”

You’re familiar with the dream of a perpetual motion machine. The Donald is a perpetual promotion machine. All of the candidates from the same party will be attacking each other before the general election. This will be called the “slime-ary” season.

Did you hear about the local church with a hawk that lived on the church grounds? Apparently, it was a bird of pray.

As you can tell, I like puns. But it’s really hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

I heard an ad on the radio for a company called Boll & Branch. They make luxury bedding items. The ad claims that three out of four former presidents sleep on their sheets. That would be Carter, Bush, Clinton and Bush. How do they know what sheets these guys are sleeping on? Did the NSA tell them? Which one is not sleeping on luxury sheets?

There has been a lot of conversation recently about a national increase in crime and the possible reasons for it. Unemployment, discrimination, fear by police officers of prosecution, the heat of the summer and on and on. I think the real reason is the lack of Blue Bell ice cream. No Blue Bell makes you a little crazy. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, Blue Bell will be back and crime will be down.

IF I WERE KING: Jack Smith would become an eponym for “lucky lottery winner.”

Join the Conversation